Lawmakers in the North Carolina host city of the 2020 Republican National Convention voted Monday to condemn President Donald Trump’s “racist and xenophobic” remarks.
The Charlotte City Council passed the resolution with a 9-2 vote, calling out nearly two years’ worth of bigotry, including the president’s recent attacks on several progressive Democrats of color ― Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.
Mayor Vi Lyles, the first black woman to hold the position in the city’s history, said it was a moment of reflection for Charlotte, too.
“For me, what this means is we have to double down deeper and figure out where racism, xenophobia and misogyny exist and own it,” she said. “I could say so many things about the president. He hasn’t changed. But what changes us, what makes us better at this?”
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Last week, Trump appeared to take aim at the four congresswomen ― also known as “the Squad” ― in a series of tweets, urging them to “go back” to “the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
All were born in the U.S. except for Omar, who emigrated from Somalia as a child.
At his Greenville campaign rally Wednesday, the president singled out Omar by name, prompting the crowd to erupt into chants of “send her back.”
Lyles said the president’s racism was all too familiar.
“I grew up in the segregated south, so I actually know all of these things, all the phrases that anybody has used,” she said. “I tell the story about my dad working one day and not getting paid,” she added, saying it was hard for him to come home to his wife and say “I wasn’t paid.”
“He was an African-American man that had no recourse in life,” Lyles said. “So when you talk about what it means to understand racism and misogyny, we all know.”
The resolution included a mention of the recent rally, as well as Trump’s infamous claim that there were “very fine people” on both sides of the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia ― a statement in which the president included white supremacists and those marching against them. During the event, chaos broke out when a neo-Nazi sped his car into marchers, killing counterprotester Heather Heyer.
Like Charlotte’s city council, House representatives moved to denounce Trump’s tweets in a 240-187 vote last week, deeming them “racist comments that have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”
The RNC will take place in August 2020.